MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Cottage Grove man has been charged with allegedly killing his wife in November and trying to make it look like a suicide.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office charged Stephen Allwine, 43, with second-degree intentional murder Tuesday in the death of his wife, Amy Allwine.
According to the criminal complaint, Cottage Grove officers found Amy Allwine dead on Nov. 13 after responding to a home on a medical emergency call. Her body was found in the bedroom with a gunshot wound to her head and a handgun next to her body.
Stephen Allwine allegedly told authorities that he discovered the body after picking up his son and going to Culver’s to eat.
However, authorities say the gun was found near the victim’s left hand. The victim is right-handed. There was also no evidence on the victim’s hands — no soot, no gunpowder stippling, no blood — to suggest she pulled the trigger.
Therefore, investigators concluded that the findings are inconsistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Also, further investigation of the house led to authorities concluding that there was human blood on the floor prior to officers arriving and that it was cleaned up.
Moreover, prosecutors say Stephen Allwine made attempts over several months to pay someone to kill his wife through the dark web, a hidden network of websites that requires special tools to access.
Fred Fink, the Washington County Criminal division chief, said investigators also found evidence that shows Stephen Allwine bought a drug called scopolamine online. The drug can incapacitate people.
Prosecutors say the drug was found in Amy Allwine’s body after her death.
“She had a $700,000 life insurance policy on her, and the beneficiary is the [Stephen Allwine],” Fink said.
The couple’s next door neighbor, Dave Sherman, was shocked to hear the news of charges against Stephen Allwine.
“They were a really nice couple,” Sherman said. “We never heard about any problems between them.”
Stephen Allwine made his first court appearance Tuesday morning. His bail has been set at $1 million without conditions and $500,000 with conditions, including GPS monitoring.
If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.